Meet Me at Sweet Berry, Berry! Meet me at the (ALT) Fair

Fiesta Verde went filmic, musical, costumed  and historic, as conservation enthusiasts gathered at Sweet Berry Farm to celebrate twenty-five years of the Aquidneck Land Trust at its annual and highly anticipated summer fundraising bash.


Paula & Michael Murray


The theme was "Meet Me at the Fair" and guests were encouraged to dress in a modern interpretation of a turn of the century Fair. The rain held back to allow a splendid evening feting an organization that “works to protect a number of local natural resource types that we depend upon as a species, including but not limited to wildlife habitat, agricultural lands, water resource areas, outdoor recreational space and scenic vistas.”


The entrance

Bright colors, red and white stripes and men in boater hats were greeted with an over the top “Welcome to the Fair” entrance, where guests indulged in a spectacular raw bar. The lawns of Sweet Berry Farm were transformed into Aquidneck Island’s version of the classic film, "Meet Me in St. Louis", missing only Judy Garland herself.


Among the festively dressed guests, were stilt walkers, acrobats, fortune tellers and a fabulous band. Waiters and Waitresses brought forth trays of delectable hors d’oeuvres, as well as signature cocktails. The most delectable cocktail was a concoction of Rhode Island’s summer favorite, Del’s Lemonade and cucumber vodka, served in a mason jar. How 1900!


Very 1900's

Prior to dinner, there was a silent auction and raffle, as revelers mingled through an unprecedented crowd. Seen were Carrie Slee and her husband Jan Slee. She looked perfect for the occasion in a star patterned scarf and told us she wore a Nantucket basket necklace, gifted by her husband, on a chain that belonged to her great grandmother.


Under the red, white and blue adorned tents was a sumptuous buffet dinner, partaken by event chair Anne Damon, Cynthia Lafferty, Suzanne McDonald and Senate candidate, Anthony Spiratos. Leith Adams, an avid supporter of ALT, wowed in a red-hued “lethal” (or should we say leithal?) caftan, supplying some very sharp wit.


Leith Adams with friend


Everyone was in great spirits and the live auction proved to be incredibly successful. As the light faded and the night sky appeared, the trees and bushes were lit bright pink and a projection of stars was cast upon the tops of the tents, along with the words, “Celebrating 25 Years of Aquidneck Land Trust.” It was reminiscent of the final scene in the movie, where the family stands together looking at the illuminated Grand Lagoon of the 1904 St, Louis World Fair, knowing that they will no longer be leaving their home.  It was also a reminder of how lucky we are to call this beautiful coastal area home. and grateful that important organizations like ALT are  preserving it for future generations.


The event raised $215,000 for Land Trust's ongoing conservation programs.


                      --Written and photographed by NS correspondent Janine Atamian


For more information on Aquidneck Land Trust, go to


The lighted tent at Sweet Berry Farm

Set for dinner

A 25th anniversary dinner to remember

We'd shake hands, but........

Judy McLennan won the purse prize!

Anne Damon looking the period

Cynthia Lafferty with friends

Jamie & Andrea Coelho

Jan & Roland DeAngelis with Wendy & Andrew Kagan

Jan Deangelis and her good friend, Wendy Kagan were dressed in theme ensembles

Jane Timkin surrounded by some very festively dressed men - Reid Sherline Jim Kennedy Jane Timken  and friends

Liz Taber and Marilyn Lyell looked festive, but Chan Lyell stole the show with his stovepipe hat

Bridgette Soby and Diane Dailey were beautiful in their garden attire

State Senate Candidate Anthony Spiratos with some very talented Stilt Walkers

Suzanne McDonald & Jessica Pohl, channeling their inner peacocks

Suzanne McDonald was the epitome of turn of the century elegance with a hat she plumed herself



Linda Gordon with Happy van Beuren & John Odegaard

ALT Vice Chair Taylor Rock and Executive Director Chuck Allott

Kaity Ryan and  husband Thom

Leith Adams with Joe Kobylak

Executive Director of ALT Charles Allott, Esq., addresses the guests

Dusk turned to night

Announcing the anniversary

Chan & Marilyn Lyell with Anne Damon


 Contributed images by Nick Mele

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